Call off auction: Don’t squander taxpayers’ money

Like all thinking Malaysians, Aliran is very upset that Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, the Umno Mentri Besar of Perak, is showing scant respect for tax-payers’ hard-earned money. If he was the peoples’ Menteri Besar, then perhaps he would have acted more prudently with the interest of the people at heart.

His decision to auction off 16 Toyota Camry cars bought by the peoples’ government in order to buy Proton Perdana cars for himself and his Executive Councillors is foolish and puerile. It does not make sense to auction off the newly acquired Toyota Camry cars incurring a substantial loss of money for the tax-payers. This is senseless squandering of wealth and defies logic.
During this economic crisis one would have expected him to act wisely but unfortunately  he is trapped in the mindset of Umno/BN noted for their extravagance and opulence.  His decision would result in the unnecessary loss of hundreds of thousands of ringgit  but he seems to have  no qualms in wasting this huge amount of  money because it is not their money. It is this mental attitude that propels them to act carelessly.

It is no surprise that thinking people should ask why this silly reason to auction off the new Toyota Camry cars when they are at the disposal of the Umno government and in very good condition? Surely they can be used for the next five or six years without any problem and more importantly without incurring any loss. Is it because the Pakatan Executive Councillors had sat in them that the Umno people find it difficult to use the same cars? Is it because their pride has to be satisfied at all costs?

But the Umno MB tells us that it is a matter of national pride that they should buy local cars.
What national pride is he talking about? Pride and dignity will be his to claim if he had been chosen by Perakians with the  legitimate mandate of the people to form the government of the day. He cannot talk about pride and dignity after toppling  the rightful government through the help of corrupt politicians and unsavoury characters.  He is seen as having usurped the position of the MB through dishonourable means and therefore he forfeits the right to any such claim.

The Terengganu government was the first to have  bought Mercedes Benz last year discarding the Proton Perdana for cost effective reasons prior to the purchase of the Toyota Camry cars by the Pakatan government. Zambry did not speak of national pride then neither did he chide his Umno counterpart for his preference for foreign cars! Was it because the huge maintenance cost incurred by the local cars that persuaded him to go along with the decision of the Terengganu government?   Nobody pressured the Terengganu government to auction off the Mercedes Benz in the interest of national pride.

The hypocrisy  displayed in the car episode is nauseating. It will rankle and smoulder  for eternity until this injustice is rectified. Rest assured that Perakians will long remember this hypocrisy and they will punish Umno without fail. The rallying cry for the next general election will be, “Remember Perak – Remember the injustice!”

P Ramakrishnan
28 April 2009